Walker willing to return to schools minister role

MP who resigned yesterday says he's 'content to serve' at the DfE again after Johnson quits as party leader

MP who resigned yesterday says he's 'content to serve' at the DfE again after Johnson quits as party leader

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The former schools minister Robin Walker has said he is willing to return to the role now that Boris Johnson has announced his resignation.

The MP for Worcester, who resigned yesterday, told Schools Week it was “important for the continuity of government, and having decided the issue of the leadership I am content to serve whoever is the caretaker”.

However, he stressed he had “not yet been asked”.

Johnson announced earlier this afternoon that he was resigning as leader of the Conservative party, triggering a leadership contest. However, he defied those calling for him to quit immediately as prime minister, saying he would stay on until a successor is chosen.

Walker was one of three education ministers who resigned yesterday. Children’s minister Will Quince and skills minister Alex Burghart also stepped down.

This morning, Michelle Donelan, who was promoted to the role of education secretary on Tuesday, sensationally quit after just 35 hours in the job. She had been promoted from her role as universities minister after Nadhim Zahawi became the chancellor.

In Walker’s letter of resignation yesterday, he told Johnson he felt he could “no longer” support his leadership, “and although I cannot think of a more rewarding job than the one I have been doing, I cannot in good conscience continue to serve in your government”.

Shortly before his announcement, Johnson revealed several appointments to his cabinet, including James Cleverly, who has taken on the education secretary role.

However, he is yet to replace any junior ministers and it is not clear when he will begin to do so.

This week’s slew of resignations comes at a critical time for schools. Landmark legislation to change the way schools are regulated is currently making its way through Parliament, and the results of the first formal exams in three years are due to be released next month.

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